Legislators Question What Affordable Care Act Means For Idaho

Jul 30, 2012

Some Idaho lawmakers met Monday to talk about the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Idaho was one of the state’s that brought a lawsuit to strike down the health care law.  The court upheld the law and now state legislators on the Health Care Task Force are discussing what's next.

Department heads and experts say Idaho needs to decide whether to expand Medicaid.  Then there's the federally required health insurance exchange which Rupert Senator Dean Cameron says the state must also decide what to do.  “We either jump in with both feet and do our own exchange or we walk away and say we’re not gonna do anything and we’re gonna let the federal government do it to us.”

The state has to make a decision about an exchange by November 16th.  In addition to the costs associated with an exchange, the task force also wants to know who makes the final decisions.  Brian Kane with the Attorney General’s office says that’s not clear. 

“If the Governor were to come out at some point and say I think that Medicaid expansion is the proper course for the state of Idaho and then the Legislature were to essentially not appropriate or not authorize, and then, for example, the Governor vetoed those activates, I don’t know there’s an answer to that at this point,” says Kane.

Samantha Wright breaks down Monday's meeting with Scott Graf, just click the Listen button to hear more.

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